TODAY’S FORECAST: Full of praise
Yesterday my parents dropped off some Valentine’s Day treats for our kids because they would not be seeing us to give them to the kids on Valentine’s Day. While they were here, my mom also gave me a little book called, Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers. It’s a very small book; in fact, I would have initially called it a booklet on first glance because of its size, but let me tell you how that little book packed a seriously large punch!
I was feeling so sick yesterday late afternoon into the late evening with a fever and other side effects from the infections I’m currently fighting. At about 9:00 last night, Bob was picking up Meghan from basketball and Jake was already asleep in bed. I got out of bed to go get some ice and a glass for the soda I had been sipping on that had since gotten warm. I saw the book laying on the kitchen counter and decided to take it and my drink back to bed with me.
As I said earlier, this book really packed a powerful punch. Rocky has nothing on this little book! The timeliness of it was truly astounding; not only for me, but also for others I had been praying for in my life recently as well whose situations were happening almost word for word within this book! I mean, after I wrote my blog post about positivity yesterday, this book even addressed the difference between positive and praise. How much more timely could God get? What stunned me even more was that I found out that this book was written in 1970. You would think it would be outdated and irrelevant by now, but I’m telling you, it is as relevant as if it was written yesterday.
I can promise this book is unlike anything you’ve ever read before. It’s a very easy, quick read, though the content may not be as quick and easy to swallow. The author, Merlin Carothers, talks about his own personal faith journey which is not so unusual, but then shares how God encouraged him to praise Him for all the bad things happening in his life and what resulted when Merlin did just that.
“Say what?!!!” That’s exactly what I said to myself when I was reading this book. Praise God for giving me Cystic Fibrosis? Praise Him for my pain? Praise Him for the 40 oral, injectable and inhaled meds I take a day? Praise Him that Bob had a heart attack? Praise Him that Jacob has severe food allergies? Praise Him for the recent Sandy Hook tragedy? Praise Him for addiction and abandoned children? I was kinda floored, to say the least.
As I continued reading; however, there was an indescribable urge I felt to act on something I didn’t fully understand. So I started immediately, though not very eloquently at the time. “Lord I praise you for my suffering today and I offer it up to you. I don’t fully understand why it is happening, why all of it is happening, but I’m thankful that I know You are near me because of it. Help me to always be in Praise of You, even in the most difficult times.”
Nothing drastic happened besides a little more peace that I’d spent some good time reading and praying, but it really left a deep impression on my heart. In doing a little more research today, I found out that Merlin Carothers has now written six such books of inspiration and guidance and that they have been translated into many languages across the globe. His next book is called Power in Praise. He wrote it 10 years after his first, and I can’t wait to get a hold of it. I’d ask that you pray for me on this new journey of praise I’m embarking on. I’ll of course be happy to do the same for you.
Psalm 113:3: From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, the name of the LORD is to be praised